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Michael J. Cox


  • On the Road: The Original Scroll

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jack Kerouac
    • Narrated By John Ventimiglia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Though Jack Kerouac began thinking about the novel that was to become On the Road as early as 1947, it was not until three weeks in April 1951 that he wrote the first full draft that was satisfactory to him. Typed out as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120-foot scroll, this document is among the most significant, celebrated, and provocative artifacts in contemporary American literary history.

    Chris says: "Stellar, if you know what you're getting into"
    "a sure-fire winner in all respects"

    John Ventimiglia is a fine narrator, giving a lusty performance that never bores. It sounds as if we're listening to Kerouac himself. Of course it helps that the "original scroll" was written in an autobiographical style, that Kerouc names the real names (Allen Ginsburg, etc). There's nothing not to like in this recording: in fact, I'd say this was award-nominating material. My only caution is that as the scroll itself was without a break, so too the narration--you'll find yourself listening way longer than you'd intended, falling into the rythm of the road and the poetry of Kerouc as interpreted by Ventimiglia.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat's Table

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michael Ondaatje
    • Narrated By Michael Ondaatje

    In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table” - as far from the Captain’s Table as can be - with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury.

    Amanda says: "Superb - But Not For All Readers or All Situations"
    "what a story and what a narrator!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cat's Table the most enjoyable?

    Listening to the author read his autobiographical, if perhaps somewhat novelistically enhanced, story of his boyhood adventures aboard the ship "Oronsay," is possibly the most rewarding audible experience I've had, certainly in my top five audiobooks. The pacing is perfect, and even though Ondatjee doesn't "do voices" for different characters, you practically always know who is speaking by the intonation and context. I so like this audiobook I"m going to buy the book to savor it again as a read, but I highly recommend this audiobook.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A boys sea voyage changes everyone aboard.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    A User says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "Nothing could be finer"

    This is an epic to savor, a recording of such quality, read with such care, that I am NOT looking forward to the day when I hear the final words. Jim Norton makes the work of comprehending the many-layered references palatable and enjoyable; his various accents and characterizations allowed me to differentiate the different narratives; and his warmth and elocution made it a riveting experience. I highly recommend this book. In addition, let me say that you will get even more from it if you also order, from The Teaching Company (online), a series of 24 lectures by Professor James Heffernan of Dartmouth College on Joyce's Ulysses. I won't give the URL here, but it's easy enough to find. WIth the unabridged Naxos audiobook and the lectures, you will have an enriching, if somewhat exhausting, educational experience.

    44 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • The Laughing Policeman: A Martin Beck Police Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by an unknown assassin. The press, anxious for an explanation for the seemingly random crime, quickly dubs him a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad suspects otherwise. This apparently motiveless killer has managed to target one of Beck's best detectives - and he, surely, would not have been riding that lethal bus without a reason.

    Michael J. Cox says: "A disappointing reader"
    "A disappointing reader"

    I hadn't seen the film before listening (for all of fifteen minutes) to this book, nor had I read the book, but the narrator's clumsy characterizations of Beck and his sidekick sound like a parody, a bad imitation of a 1940's actor, and really put me off listening any further. I expect it might be a fun book to READ, but I cannot recommend LISTENING to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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